AI in solitaire/co-op boardgames: How should it work?

Aren’t you supposed to play wargames solo without any solitaire rules? Sheesh.

Back in the 70s as a teen I subscribed to Strategy and Tactics magazine where they mailed you a magazine with a game every two months. None of friends would go near those games, so this is exactly what I did, I played solo without solo rules, simply by playing against myself.

I’m not sure if it was the 70s or 80s when they started putting a solitaire suitability rating on boxes along with the complexity rating.

No worries, and thanks. I’ve committed to finishing the campaign, only have 2-3 battles left, and I’m enjoying the entertainment value. I’m still reorienting myself to board wargames, and this is a gentle step forward. Complexity is low, not a lot of edge cases, and games play fast.

I’m looking forward to exploring more complete solitaire systems. Sherman Leader has just a few rules. It’s hardly a system compared to the Erasmus 12-page decision tree AI-bot (PDF) for Empire of the Sun

Depends. Most of the time I played both sides, swapping hats as it were, so the there was no need for solitaire rules. Sometimes, though, I would write up guidelines for one or the other side, and attempt to stick to them. I still do that sometimes for computer games where I play both sides, like the John Tiller stuff.

:( That just reminded me of his passing. It looks like WDS will be continuing to work on Tiller games though with the release of Kiev '43, and apparently other games in development.

I think I’m perfectly comfortable where a designer has designed the bot’s actions and decision tree’s down to a point where once the instructions say “player choice” the decision level you are making is low enough that it has absolutely no significant impact on the game.

I’m not really bothered about going down an increasingly elaborate flowchart/list of stuff simply to break a tie between two options that effectively the bot doesn’t care which one it chooses. I don’t believe that’s a failure of design that’s simply using the human player to simplify the execution.

Yes, I knew John personally, though I had not seen him in a few years, and was quite saddened to hear of his death.

WDS does the Panzer Battles games too, and these are IMO a step up in terms of overall design and operation from the venerable Panzer Campaigns titles, even with the modest upgrades those are getting. The next PB game is about the battles around Moscow early in the war and looks interesting.

Which I’ve left on my shelf for a year now without even looking at it!